My title comes from a line in the Nicene Creed describing the divine nature of Jesus: Light from Light, True God from True God; begotten not made, one in being with the Father. (I could have some of those phrases mixed up; I am, after all, a newly minted Catholic.) My subject matter is "signs from God."
At times in my life when I have been hard-pressed, downcast in spirit, crushed, I have looked to God for some sign of encouragement: to know (and be reassured) that this is truly just a moment in time; that "this, too, shall pass." That this season I am walking through is really just a season, not what will be until the end of time. Many times, He has answered me with light - brilliant displays of the sun breaking through and illuminating creation.
How like Him! What an allegory of Himself! Jesus is the Light of the World. The Son who broke into our world, broke the chains and burdens of sin and darkness that have enslaved us, and by living in us, illuminates our lives! This is the transfiguration that James, John and Peter witnessed.
[I have just taken a divine tangent. Now, I'd like to get back to what I originally intended to write.]
When I was young, my mom told me that when the sun would break through the clouds, she thought of it as God smiling down upon us.
That has stuck with me. Whenever I am feeling low, I look to the sky; to the heavens from where my Help comes.
About two and half years ago, after a relationship had ended (or so I thought), I spent an afternoon driving through the rain dropping students off at their schools. On my return trip, I just spent time crying (literally) out to God - wondering when things would finally work out - and asking specifically for some encouragement. As I drove into Ames, the sky immediately turned from gray and rainy to brightly illuminated by the sun. It was early October, and the trees glistened. The world was shining and golden. I knew in my heart that God was faithful; that He had this; that the time would come - sooner that I thought and in such a way that I would surprise me with its goodness.
Last year, after Dan and I had just visited my grandpa in the nursing home, we were driving back to Ames. It was early on a Sunday morning, just four days before Grandpa passed from this life. My grief was so strong. That morning, I have never witnessed the Iowa landscape lit up the way it was. The sky was this amazing aqua-blue and the fields of northeast Iowa were a magnificent green. There were low clouds in the sky illuminated by the early sun. It was breath-taking. I was in awe. As I drank it all in and thought how my grandpa would LOVE to see a morning like this, knowing that he couldn't in the nursing home, the truth hit me that even a morning as breath-taking as this doesn't even begin to compare to Heaven. The beauty and light that we see here is nothing compared to the glory that awaits.
Today, while I praying and unloading my burdens, which feel particularly heavy this week, God just broke through. The ray of light that came streaming into my window was piercing it was so bright. I just had to stop and praise Him for who He is. I thought that this ray of piercing light was a way to say, "Hey Jessica; it's all right. I'm going to make sure you get that job you just applied for." I was all psyched to write this blog about how that ray of light you might have witnessed was for me because God is good & got me this interview or I made crazy headway on my work or - whatever.
I got the rejection email this morning about the job. It hurt, a lot, actually. I still have a crap-ton of work to do to graduate. It's overwhelming, to be sure. Maybe the Light's message today is, "See? Even when the clouds are thick and pressing in on you, I can pierce it. Keep looking to me. I am the Light. I will guide you. You will not be pressed too the point of crushing; I will keep you. I will provide. Keep the faith, dear one. Keep the faith."
In the words of St. Paul, "We are pressed, but not crushed; persecuted, but not abandoned; perplexed, but not despairing; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:9) For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)"
Amen. Let it be so.